Hot-Air Ballooning in Cappadocia
Thousands of years ago when the volcanoes around the heart of Anatolia started erupting frequently, their ash, lava and basalt formed the soft rocks which are foundation of today’s landscape of the area. The easiness of carving into those rocks had people creating homes in rock pillars and under the ground. These homes, churches and whole underground cities now form what we know as Cappadocia.
I must say that a trip to Turkey would never be complete without a visit to Cappadocia. The first time you see the breathtaking scenery will be almost overwhelming. The view from the Pigeon Valley gives you a great introduction on what to expect. And for the ultimate immersion, stay at a hotel with cave rooms!
One of the absolute musts in the area is a hot-air balloon ride. Being afraid of heights, I will confess I was extremely scared of hopping in the balloon after seeing so many of them flying so far up the sky that you cannot even see the people in them. However, this experience ended up among my favorites in Turkey! You arrive on location at the crack of dawn and see the balloons actually being inflated. The baskets can hold up to 24 people, but Exeter can also arrange a private ride – it is so romantic!! The take off was so smooth I barely realized we were off the ground, and the whole journey (approximately 45-minutes) was “wow” after “wow”.
I am a picture fanatic (just ask my colleagues!) and the view from up there is so incredible that at one point I had to force myself to stop obsessing about trying to record every moment to simply enjoy the ride. It was fantastic.
And while there, be sure not to miss one of the biggest sights of Cappadocia: the Göreme Open-Air Museum. An absolute must-see, this complex is composed of houses, churches and monasteries that were carved into the soft rocks by the people of Göreme. With its beautiful frescoes and unique characteristics, the museum became a member of UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984. An unbelievable sight for a stroll after seeing all the beauty from the sky!
Call 800.633.1008 or 813.251.5355